News Archive


The Road to Popularity Can Be Paved With Unpleasantness

The Road to Popularity Can Be Paved With Unpleasantness, Study Featured in The Wall Street Journal

A longitudinal study by researchers at Florida Atlantic University tested the novel hypothesis that aggressive and disruptive children engage in frequent conflicts with classmates to strengthen their position in the group and enhance their popularity. Read the FAU News Desk article.

Read The Wall Street Journal article.

New Funding Supports Studies for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

New Funding Supports Studies for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Carmen Varela, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, received the Alzheimer’s Association’s Research Fellowship to Promote Diversity. The $149,871 award will fund research in her lab on the relationship between sleep and memory. Read more.

Photo or Real Thing? Mice Can Inherently Recall and Tell Them Apart

Photo or Real Thing? Mice Can Inherently Recall and Tell Them Apart

A study by researchers from the FAU Schmidt College of Science provides the very first behavioral evidence that laboratory mice are capable of high-level picture-to-object perceptual abilities. Read more.

Both Mothers and Friends Shape Adolescent Self-esteem

Both Mothers and Friends Shape Adolescent Self-esteem

Findings from the research, led by led by Brett Laursen, Ph.D., show that friends don't fully compensate for poor-quality relationships with parents. Read more.

icis research

Researchers Review Birth and the Postpartum Experiences During COVID-19

Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, Nancy Aaron Jones, Ph.D., and colleagues, discuss babies in the time of Covid. Learn about what moms and maternity services professionals note as the important lessons. Read more.



carmen varela alzheimer's award

Sleep Research Earns FAU Scientist "Alzheimer's Association" Award

FAU Department of Psychology Assistant Professor, Carmen Varela, Ph.D., recently received the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Research Fellowship to Promote Diversity” award to investigate the relationship between sleep patterns and one’s overall brain health. Read more on the FAU News Desk. Watch the spotlight with Dr. Varela on WPLG Local 10 News.


Robin Vallacher Interviewed on WPTV's "To the Point"

robin vallacher wptv

Interim Chair and Professor of the Department of Psychology, Robin Vallacher, Ph.D., (pictured left) was interviewed alongside FAU Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science, Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., on West Palm Beach's WPTV 5 show "To the Point." Vallacher and Wagner discussed how social media has changed our political discourse. Watch here.




Monica Rosselli Recognized with HNS Lifetime Achievement Award

news language study

Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology, Monica Rosselli, Ph.D., was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Cultural Neuropsychology Award by the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society (HNS). This award honors outstanding leaders and scholars who have made a significant contribution to the neuropsychology field over their lifetime. Read more.



Varying Language Styles Personalize News

news language study

Two FAU researchers recently released results of an international study on the social psychology of three United States presidential elections. The results show distinct linguistic styles between two major networks, Fox News and MSNBC. Read more.



Language Trade-off? No, Bilingual Children Acquire English by Age 5

bilingual study

A first-of-its kind study in U.S.-born children from Spanish-speaking families finds that minority language exposure does not threaten the acquisition of English by children in the U.S. and that there is no trade-off between English and Spanish. The study was led by lead author Erika Hoff, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Psychology. Read more.




Socializing ‘Sweet Spot’: Prescription for Healthy Older Brains is Improving Social Engagement

tognoli socializing research

Emmanuelle Tognoli, Ph.D, a research professor in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, is part of a team of FAU researchers that were awarded a  $675,000 grant to design experiences, or mathematical model, that give older adults a chance to form meaningful social interactions while aiding for age-related impairments. Read more.

Psychology Student Recipient of Award at Three Minute Thesis Competition


Congratulations to Claudius Osei, from the experimental psychology Ph.D. program, recipient of the Three Minute Championship Runner-up, $1,500 award. Read more.


FAU Researchers Receive Grants to Combat Alzheimer’s Disease


Researchers from the Schmidt College of Science and FAU collaborators have received grants totaling $641,818 from the Florida Department of Health’s Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program. Read more.


Easing Anxiety in Children with Computerized Training Program


Nathaniel Shanok, Ph.D., a recent graduate, and Nancy Aaron Jones, Ph.D., FAU associate professor of psychology, published a study that found a way to alleviate negative emotions in preadolescent children in the journal, Applied Neuropsychology: Child. Read more.





Depressed Moms Who Breastfeed Boost Babies’ Mood and Mutual Touch

baby Nancy Aaron Jones, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the FAU WAVES Emotion Laboratory in the FAU Department of Psychology, is the lead author of a study published in the journal, Neuropsychobiology, for her study examining the developing mother-infant relationship. For the study, researchers investigated the feeding method and affectionate touch patterns in depressed and non-depressed mother-infant dyads. Read more. 



Mean or Nice? These Traits Could Make or Break a Child’s Friendships

mean or nice

Brett Laursen, Ph.D., professor of psychology, along with @FAU Department of Psychology graduates, are authors of a study that examined whether one friend's nice and mean behaviors anticipate changes in the other friend’s perceptions of relationship negativity. The researchers are the first to conduct a longitudinal study on this topic. Read more



Breaking the Chains of Incarceration in African American Males


Peter Claudius Osei, a Ph.D. student in the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, and researchers from the College of Social Work and Criminal Justice published a study examining African American men’s re-entry experience, family reunification, and recidivism.  Read more.





FAU Awarded 5.3 Million

grant Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing in collaboration with FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and Charles E. Schmidt College of Science have received a five-year, $5.3 million R01 grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health for a project titled, “In-vehicle Sensors to Detect Cognitive Change in Older Drivers.” Read more.




Nate Shanok, Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology

nate Nate Shanok’s Ph.D. focused on developmental and cognitive neuroscience. Shanok’s dissertation project examined various associations between executive functioning skills, resting-state brain activity, and anxiety in preadolescent children. Read more.  




FAU Study Finds Being Fun is No Laughing Matter 

brett FAU study finds being fun is no laughing matter. Brett Laursen, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Psychology, along with Robert Altman, M.A., and Li Wei, M.A., collaborated with Concordia University to conduct a research study to determine if children who are popular were able to gain popularity by being fun to hang around with. Read more.




Edward Ester Receives NSF Career Award


Edward Ester, Ph.D. an assistant professor from the Department of Psychology, has been awarded the National Science Foundation Career Award, which provided a grant of $553,436. Ester is using this award to further his research of the neural mechanisms that allow us to rapidly perceive and make sense of the world around us. Read more.




 Virtual Communication in the Age of Social Distancing


Neuroscientists at FAU, Elan Barenholtz, Ph.D., an associate professor in the College of Science, and Michael Kleiman, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher, worked together to conduct a research study to determine whether being observed affects people’s behavior during online communication. Read more.




 Mother/Infant Skin-to-Skin Touch Boosts Baby's Brain Development 


A new study by researchers in the FAU College of Science demonstrates that mother-infant touch and contact are essential for optimal neurodevelopmental regulation in early infancy. Referred to as Kangaroo Care, a skin-to-skin, chest-to-chest method of caring for a baby, has been associated with promoting brain development in infants. Read more. 




 Frontiers in Science Lecture with William Hahn, Ph.D


Assistant Professor and co-director of the FAU Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Lab William Hahn, Ph.D., discusses “How Artificial  Intelligence is Changing the World” on March 6 for the Frontiers in Science Lecture Series. You can find out more at

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 Summer Undergraduate Psychology Research Experience Grant

psy grant

The Department of Psychology was awarded $28,800 for the American Psychological Association Summer Undergraduate Psychology Research Experience. The award will be used to encourage students from underrepresented populations to pursue research careers in psychology or a related field, such as neuroscience, biology, or medicine. The award provides full-time pay while students pursue summer projects in a faculty mentor's lab.



Calculated Surprise Leads to Groundbreaking Neuroscience Discovery


Assistant Professor of Psychology and member of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, William Alexander, Ph.D., part of groundbreaking neuroscience discovery. Read More.





Jacqueline Stotler, Ph.D. Candidate in Experimental Psychology


Ph.D. candidate in Experimental Psychology, Jacqueline Stotler, goes into detail about her research, her experience at FAU as a psychology student and her pursuits for after graduation in this recent Q and A. Read more.




Ask a Scientist Podcast


Ask a Scientist Interview with Chair of the Psychology Department, Teresa Wilcox, Ph.D. Listen Here!





 Bilingual Development

development erika

Erika Hoff at FAU has received a $2.9 million grant  $2.9 million grant from the  Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue a unique longitudinal study of bilingual development in children from Spanish-speaking homes. Read More.




 Meet Astro, FAU's Smart RoboDog!


The FAU Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Lab brings to life one of about a handful of these quadruped robots in the world.  Read More





Three Types of Teen Popularity 


Professor Brett Laursen talks about three distinct types of popularity amongst teens. 
Read more.




 Teens at Great Risk for Bullying


Professor Brett Laursen talks about inappropriate interpersonal responses from parents to children.  
Read more.





FAU Unveils First-of-its-Kind - Neuroscience Undergraduate Honors Program


This latest honors program will focus on neuroscience and be offered on FAU's John D. MacArthur Jupiter campus. 
Read More.





Why do Childhood Friendships Fall Apart?


Professor Brett Laursen and his FAU graduate students published a
study indicating that parents' mental health issues may spoil children's friendships.
Read more on Reuters Health.







  Arthur C. Evans, Jr. PhD, BS '82, MA '84 - Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

newsHealthcare innovator, policymaker, and clinical and community psychologist,
Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., is the new CEO of the American Psychological
Association (APA). 
Read more.